Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Every Prime Minister deserves a dignified return. Even Gordon Brown.
Let us commend defence minister Peter Luff for his honourable delivery at the despatch box last night, for this was as he said "a footnote of history".
It feels rare to witness a recently deposed Prime Minister speaking, withered but unbowed, from the backbenches. It shouldn't be, because Sir John Major was still doing it at the turn of the century. However, Tony Blair's swfit exit from British politics has conditioned us to perceive Gordon Brown's appearances in the Chamber as peculiar as they are now sparse.
This is a man who hasn't stood on those rear benches for a generation. Whatever our opinions of him, and I know that Mr Luff has some pretty strong ones, as he alluded, now was not the time to express them. Instead, a former Prime Minister was afforded the dignity that the office bestows upon its holders, even if they do not profess such dignity in their execution of it.